On a number of occasions I have been approached regarding the broadband speeds in and around Howdenshire Villages, particularly Bubwith, Newport and Home On Spalding Moor (HOSM). There are instances where broadband speeds and mobile phone signal strength are so low it makes both working from home or running a business that requires a high speed internet connection almost impossible.
Broadband is no longer considered a luxury - it has become an essential service delivering commercial, economic and social benefits. It may be a determining factor for an employee who wishes to work from home or an individual or company looking to set up or expand a business in the area. It may be students wanting to use the internet to help with their coursework, or people who simply want to communicate more easily with others through social networking sites such as facebook.
One resident, a consultant working as part of a London based team in the agricultural and food industry, has particular problems and is probably the worst case in the area (unless someone knows differently). The situation was barely adequate before the early part of the year when the BT cable was accidentally cut necessitating a repair, and since then achieving a landline broadband connection has been almost impossible. His situation is compounded by poor mobile phone coverage so mobile broadband is difficult too. To carry out the large part of his work requiring a broadband connection now means visiting someone else’s house.
Although broadband now covers 99% of the country, the Government acknowledge that speeds are variable and service is weak or non-existent in some areas. Generally in Newport, Bubwith and HOSM speeds are slower than in other similar communities, and the speeds differ with the distance from the exchange, so those living at the edges of the villages suffer more, as shown in the case of the resident above. You might be interested in taking a look at http://resources.zdnet.co.uk/speedtest/ which will provide home users an instant free test of their actual broadband speed.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council recognises the rural economy’s increasing dependence on technology such as broadband availability and has written to the Government Minister urging the Government to fulfil its promise of making internet connectivity available to all.
Rural Broadband accessibility was looked into by the Council’s Greater Prosperity Overview and Scrutiny Committee this last week and will look further into the problem during the coming year, if anyone would like to provide any evidence or information to this committee please let me know.